East Gwent Senior League Division 1
Sudbrook CC "A" 4 Underwood "A" 2
SUDBROOK Cricket Club fought back from losing their keeper and a goal down to go top of Division 1.
Goalkeeper Craig Brimble was injured diving at an Underwood forward’s feet but after a seven-minute spell of on-field treatment, he insisted on continuing.
The visitors piled on the pressure and Tom Turner gave them the lead when the stricken keeper failed to cut out a through-ball.
Defender Dave Sefton came off the bench to take over between the sticks and with Underwood smelling blood, they pushed forward, looking to wrap up victory and the points before half-time.
However, they left gaps at the back and Stephen Davies took advantage to equalise before Matthew Davies put the home side ahead.
Sefton was doing a good job, nothing spectacular but safe and Underwood were forced to re-think their strategy.
For 20 minutes, the match was very even, and it needed something special to stir it into life.
It came from Underwood’s Elliot Campfield who galloped down the right flank, cut inside before unleashing a rising shot past Sefton to level matters.
Joint manager Daryl Cann went close to putting Sudbrook ahead again but Underwood keeper Justin Bidgood tipped his rasping drive over the bar and then punched the ball clear as Phillips met the resulting corner.
With half-time approaching, Keenan Perrett set up Stuart Cochrane who restore Sudbrook’s lead from the edge of the area.
Although both teams created chances, they were denied by good saves by Bidgood and Sefton until, in the last quarter, Phillips scored the fourth with almost a carbon copy of Campfield’s goal.
The victory was blunted though as Cann revealed his injured keeper is likely to be out for some time.
"Craig was taken to A&E at the Royal Gwent Hospital and has been referred to a knee specialist," he said. "I can't see him being back for a while."
Disappointed Underwood manager Danny Williams admitted his team cannot afford any more slip-ups if they want to win the title.
"After going ahead, we thought it was going to be easy," he said. "But Sudbrook came at us throughout and got their reward. We played well in spells but we couldn’t break down their back line.
"Our attitude towards the ref and each other wasn’t good and for that reason I don’t think we deserved to win.
"We’ve got to knuckle down and work hard from now until the end of the season."